Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Education Specialist


The adoption of an alternative school calendar is a widely discussed topic in education reform today. The need to help students retain more academic skills after summer vacation is one reason school districts are considering alternative calendars. A recent study by Nofsinger (1999) of elementary students used Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) probes to measure academic skills in the Spring and the Fall in both traditional and alternative calendar schools. This present study further analyzed data collected during Nofsinger's (1999) study to determine whether certain groups of students (i.e., high, middle, and low achievers) gained more benefit from traditional or alternative calendars. Further, the researcher compared subsamples of third-grade students with comparable achievement levels to determine if results from an earlier study were valid. Results of an Aptitude Treatment Interaction design analysis revealed that some groups of students attending alternative calendar schools showed higher scores in academic subjects when they returned to school in the Fall than did their traditional calendar counterparts. First grade students showed fewer losses in academic skills due to participation in the alternative calendar than students in third and fifth grades. In the alternative calendar schools students who had higher scores on the Spring measures tended to have higher scores in the Fall than high-achieving students in traditional calendar schools. Results from the subsample of third-graders with comparable achievement scores on the California Test of Basic Skills lent support to Nofsinger's findings.


Education | Psychology